Political Science ETDs

Publication Date



An often forgotten, but very significant and lasting consequence of civil war is forced migration. Violent conflict around the world forces millions of people to flee their homes every year, placing significant burdens on the international community as well as home governments in dealing with the plight of these forgotten populations. But for every person that flees a conflict situation, there are also many people who stay behind, raising important questions for researchers and policy makers alike. Building on existing cross-national studies that emphasize a choice-centered' approach to the study of forced migration, I investigate variation in subnational and individual level behavior in order to better understand the factors that affect people's choices under a highly dangerous circumstance like civil war. Using secondary and primary data collected through fieldwork in Nepal, I employ multivariate analysis to explain variation in forced migration across districts and individuals in terms of the impact of such factors as violence, economic opportunity, physical infrastructure, geographical terrain, and social networks. In addition, I explore the behavior of individuals in terms of their use of possible coping mechanisms that allow them to stay in their homes. A study of why people flee during conflict is incomplete without also understanding the behavior of people who do not flee. The empirical results provide new insights into subnational variation and individual-level behavior not captured in large-n cross-national studies. The present study demonstrates that subnational and individual-level variations in forced migration are affected by the conditions people find themselves in as well as the opportunities that their situations present to them.

Degree Name

Political Science

Level of Degree


Department Name

Political Science

First Committee Member (Chair)

Atkeson, Lonna R.

Second Committee Member

Stanley, William D.

Third Committee Member

Bohara, Alok K.




Forced migration--Nepal, Nepal--History--Civil War, 1996-2006, Nepal--Social conditions, Nepal--Economic conditions, Refugees--Nepal

Document Type